Ever had one of those days, where you really feel you are being punished for something? I'm not sure whose birthday I have perhaps forgotten. Fairly certain I wasn't supposed to be attending any funerals or similar events where greater powers might frown down upon me for such selfishness. Clearly, something I had done wrong though. It started with a dubious forecast. After having cancelled the whole day, I was sitting outside the Italian restaurant in the marina last night, when it occurred to me the wind had completely died, which had not been the forecast. Assuming it would be a repeat of that same morning, I called 1st sailing back on again, much to the delight of Omar and Gabriel who had booked the boat to fly fish.
We headed out, into a fair swell, although it was the beginning of a fairly big tide, rushing in also, which on its own creates a bit of roll. We tried on the first reef there, where I must admit I was expectant of results. The only shadow was the visibility, which wasnt too great. Often the way with a westerly stiff wind the previous afternoon. If we had been on the lures, we could have simply headed offshore, for clearer water. But with the fly, if you can find the fish on the shallower marks, the clients are far more likely to score. Next drift, and CRACK... Gabriel, doing nothing wrong, was now hanging onto a five piece rod. My rods, and this one was new, so I suspect a factory defect. It will be returned. But it left a dilema, as although I carry an emergency lure rod, I do not carry an emergency fly rod.
"No problem" I said. Living just up the road , and having got no further than the inner manors, it was a no brainer. I would pop home, and grab my treasured Greys. We put in to the marina. Things went well. Even my parking spot was still available. Amazing in itself. Back out we headed, and restart the clock. Now, I pushed up the tide, hunting for a window of clear in the colour. I had to head offshore for a couple of drifts, but, despite marking fish, nothing doing. I took another run, much closer inshore. Water a perfect 12-14 feet. It didn't take long. Gabriel "I got one"... I looked round, to see the fish taking line a treat, on a double rod. Awesome stuff.
Gabriel did a great job of tiring it out. I have seen many good bass simply drop off because not enough bend in the rod. Fly rods are great at absorbing lunges, so I prefer to see them hooped over and holding that big hook tight. As the fish came towards the net, a stunning dark fish at that, "CRACK". I knew instantly what had happened, although I got some commentary from Gabs anyhow. But it didnt matter. All that mattered was that beautiful, big dark bass. I grabbed the leader, and led it over the net. This actually went well, and Gabriel had his well earned prize. Weighed afloat between 6 and 6.5lb.
Another fly rod down, this time, it was lures for Gabriel. Except we didnt really get that far. As I rigged up mine, the line went around the steering wheel. As I got off the seat, this arrangement acted as a pulley, forcing an accelerated Mighty Minnow deep into my ring finger. I simply couldnt believe it. "Guys"... "Im really sorry, but I got to go to hospital" . They of course completely understood. Such a shame though. Perhaps more of that stamp were lurking on that mark.
As I write this, it is after returning from the Lewes small injuries unit. A really great team, who I am so happy I could drive myself to, as Brighton A & E, with such an injury, can often be a very long wait. So a huge thankyou, especially to George who quite enjoyed her first hook removal procedure I think.